Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I'm Moving!

Well I did it! It took me all afternoon but I figured out how to blog on Wordpress. I like their blogsite better because it looks more polished. It's easier for the viewer to find certain subjects too. Sooooo this is my last post on this blog... if you want to see more Rectal Cancer My Ass posts, head on over here

See you at the new place!
xo  Inge

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Art Therapy - Part of Cancer Treatment

Creating art is a terrific part of complementary therapy when undergoing cancer treatment --- or any type of treatment for that matter. UCI offers art therapy to its patients, but you don't have to be part of a group to enjoy creating art.

Kirsten is one of the patients I visit with at UCI Medical Center and is an artist. She likes to paint on different types of mediums. She prefers to stay at home and paint. This is a sample of her work:

You don't have to paint, you can write poetry, cook, collage or whatever. I even have a patient who brings a coloring book and crayons to pass the time while she receives chemotherapy.
If you prefer spending time and creating with a group, ask your doctor if there is an art program at your hospital or medical center.

xo   Inge


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Choose Your Treatment Carefully Part 2

In Part 1's blog post I discussed snake oil salesmen who peddle miracle cancer cures via the Internet. I want to discuss on this post my thoughts about alternative cancer treatments, mainly sites who offer raw food cures, oxygen cures and the like. Many of them are outside the U.S. because they are not approved by the FDA.

One of the blogs I followed when I was getting treatment was Green Smoothie Girl   and Kris Carr. They both advocate for alternative treatments. Kris Carr is a cancer survivor and  her cancer was not treatable the traditional way. Her cancer remains dormant after 10 years of changing her lifestyle. I think they both offer sound advice and they are the ones who got me on the 'vegan' wagon. I also learned about juicing and green smoothies from these gals. I see them as credible to get information on fighting cancer, however I still chose the slash, burn and poison route for my treatment as well.

I was at Stage 4 when I was diagnosed. It spread to my liver and the surgeon at UCI Medical cut the tumor off my liver, since it was located at the tip. He is one of the few in the U.S. that will perform liver surgery on a Stage 4 colorectal cancer patient. After the cancer was removed from my liver, I opted for chemo and radiation to make sure the cancer didn't have time to travel anywhere else in my body. Like I mentioned in my last post, we all have different medical histories and we are treated individually. I was lucky to be in excellent health, except for that nasty cancer. I opted to get my "ass kicked' (pun intended). I had an excellent support system and a great team of doctors at UCI who had no problems with me using alternative care as well.

My radiation doctor did ask me to refrain from using herbs while in treatment, which I honored. So in a nutshell the treatment I went with was; liver surgery, chemo, radiation, meditation, juicing, green smoothies, no refined sugar, vegan diet and a huge positive attitude. I still have my colon and I have a permanent colostomy bag because the cancer destroyed my sphincter muscles. The chemo/radiation combo killed the cancer, much to the happy surprise of all involved. The original game plan was to shrink the tumor and then remove my colon.  I believe it was the alternative treatment that  helped me keep my colon. As of today I am cancer free 20 months. I get monthly bloodwork done and a full body scan every six months.

Now, let's say my cancer was not treatable the traditional way, you better believe I would have sought out alternative treatments that were credible. The only downside is -- actual treatment centers are located outside the U.S. and they are not cheap.  Many of the alternative treatments require a health providers supervision.  Reading about, let's say, the benefits of vitamin C on the Internet leads you to believe that taking large doses of the vitamin will cure cancer. It isn't that simple. Further research reveals that the vitamin must be given intravenously and it's still too early to tell if it works.

I strongly suggest cancer patients do their homework before starting any treatment program and have all the facts. Like I said not all cancers are treated the same way. Your life is too important to follow the advice from someone who has a website and doesn't have credible evidence to back up his/her claims.

xo   Inge